Tuesday, 2 April 2013

NATCON 2013 Tournament Report (Day 3 and Wrap Up)

Going into Day 3, I was utterly exhausted by a bad case of tournament insomnia. I knew that I had to get 2 good wins in the day to get on the podium so resolved to be more aggressive in my play in these two games.

Game 7 vs Stuart Robinson (WoC Eventual Placing: 9th) Battle for the Marbles

Stuart Robinson had a well painted and well balanced WoC army but this scenario was ideal for myself. There were three objectives placed on the table between our two deployment zones (one in the center of table and two others selected by us), at the end of the 2nd turn one of these would dissappear and we would fight over what was left. This scenario favoured myself as it funneled his army into one area which he couldn't leave and I could shoot him to death. Stuart's list was:

Sorcerer Lord - L4, Lore of Nurgle, Mark of Nurgle, Sword of Anti-Heroes, Talisman of Preservation, Ironcurse Icon, Chaos Familiar, Scaled Skin

Exalted Hero - Mark of Tzeentch, BSB, Sword of Striking, Enchanted Shield, Talisman of Endurance, Soul Feeder, Third Eye of Tzeentch

24 Chaos Warriors - FCG, Standard of Discipline, Shields, MoN
24 Chaos Warriors - FCG, Banner of Swiftness, Shields, MoT
1 Chaos Chariot
6 Chaos Warhounds
6 Chaos Warhounds
6 Chaos Warhounds
6 Forsaken
5 Forsaken

5 Chaos Knights
6 Chaos Trolls

As discussed before the scenario ensured that a Zulu dawn was going to happen and I made full use of this as all of his army funneled into one place. The first turn saw me kill all of his forsaken and the chaos knights. This caused me to have the freedom of manuever and after this Stuart was always going to have a tough time due to lack of units and mobility.

In the end we killed roughly the same amount of points though his units were very close to dissappearing thanks to Soulblight/Plague of Rust and Salamanders, but I managed to grab all of the objectives (I had chosen to take 2nd turn).

Result: 15-5 win

Thoughts: This was a good game for me where I had the advantages going in. The requirement for his small army to concentrate itself in one place allowed for a full on Zulu Dawn. I would have liked a bigger win but that would have risked losing an objective and I wasn't keen on that.

Game 8 vs Mark Skilton (VC, Eventual Placing: 5th) Battleline

Mark had come across from Melbourne for the weekend and brought a VC bus list with a trick, a giant Nightmare Colossus trick. Mark had:

Vampire Lord - L3, Quickblood, Red Fury, Sword of Might, Armour of Destiny, Dawnstone, Shield, Barded Nightmare, Lore of Vampires

Vampire - Sword of Swift Slaying, Dragonhelm, Opal Amulet, Red Fury, Barded Nightmare, Heavy Armour, Shield, BSB, Lore of Death
Necromancer- Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icons, Lore of Vampires

30 Ghouls
30 Ghouls
5 Dire Wolves
6 Dire Wolves

9 Black Knights - FCG, Barding, Lances, Banner of Swiftness
1 Spirit Host
2 Fell Bats
2 Fell Bats

1 Nightmare Colossus

and the rules for the Nightmare Colossus:

Nightmare Colossus

Troop Type

Special Rules: Terror, Unbreakable, Unstable, Special Attacks, Vortex of Death, Enchanted (Magical) Attacks, Largest of Monsters (can Thunderstomp anything without this rule), Colossal Beast (can only be wounded by attacks with S4 and above, regardless of attacks Strength can never be wounded on better than a 3+, anything spell or attack that would slay outright, does D6 wounds instead, has 2D6 Thunderstomp).

Special Attacks:
May use select 1 of following per round of combat
Batter and Slash – D6+1 attacks against one enemy unit in base contact
Impale – 1 attack against single model in contact with Heroic Killing Blow
Screams of the Damned – Target 1 enemy unit in base contact, Roll D6+2 add to Colossus Ld, compare to D6 + highest Ld in target unit, if Colossus wins, difference is number of automatic wounds done to target unit, no armours allowed. Units which are unbreakable or immune to psychology are immune to this attack.

Vortex of Death:
4+ Regeneration (except against flaming and/or magical attacks)
Any Wizard within 12” gains +1 to casting rolls when using Lore of Death or Lore of Vampires
Any Wizard within 12” gains -1 to casting rolls when using Lore of Life or Lore of Light
Any extra damage caused to undead units, applies to Colossus.

Scythes and Barbs – can re-roll Thunderstomp and Batter and Slash attacks if desired, must keep re-rolled result
Corpse Killers – Every enemy unit in contact with Colossus suffers D6 S2 automatic hits, at Initiative 1 step of Close Combat phase.
Dark Soul – Gains Wizard Level, loses 1T per miscast permanently, as well normal miscast results.

So this game went pretty much perfectly until the end. I managed to drop the Colossus by turn 2 through the use of poison and spirit leech (some good luck on my part). I killed the Vampire Lord when he charged into a combat between the Scar Vet and the Spirit Host by taking off 2 wounds with CR before my Scar Vet died and then Searing Dooming him off.

Where I didn't play so well was allowing myself to be herded off the board. Mark was a very skilled player and knew exactly what he was doing so was racking up a few points himself. At the end of the game though disaster struck and my General and Saurus who had bunkered up in a building, failed a  cold-blooded ld 9 re-roll panic test and fled off the board, gifting him 700 points. At the end of the game both of our armies were nearly gone and instead of being up 1000 points I was only up 350. 

Result: 12-8 win

Thoughts:  I was absolutely devastated when the 1 in 500 happened and my Slann/Saurus ran away in the last turn due to a fleeing unit as I was cruising for a guaranteed podium. I have racked my brain for how I could have prevented the panic test but realistically it comes with playing the skink cloud and I'm not sure there was anything I could have done to prevent it. To be fair I had some good luck throughout the tournament so what comes around goes around but I still was very frustrated by what happened.

Final Result: 4th place (3rd equal on Battle Points but just pipped on paint scores)

Final Thoughts

My Play: I was generally happy with my generalship throughout the tournament with the exceptions of the DoC game and misreading the scenario during Blood and Glory. I managed to go 7 wins and 1 loss which was the same run as the winner, Sam W. and claimed some noteable scalps during my games. I had virtually no easy games and played most of the top 10.What let me down though was my lack of experience with the lizardmen which caused me to play too conservatively and stopped me going for big wins. I was allowing myself to be herded to easily by charges that needed 11"/12" that I should just have stood and shot rather than fled. As it stood I fled nearly everytime and this made life hard on myself when I should have just taken the risk. I do feel though that my play is continuing to improve and am happy I'm heading in the right direction. I've still got a lot to learn, but this will come with time and practice.

My Army: I have no complaints about the army I took, it was absolute filth and it performed as such. The use of Death and Metal on the slann was excellent (at one point I had cast a bubble soulblight and some plague of rusts on Salamanders and unleashed with salamanders to crazy effect.) The army was unexpectedly brutal and I would change very little next time. Perhaps I would scrap the Saurus warriors and make my skink cohorts larger.

The Tourney: Mike King did a good job running the tournament and I had a great weekend. All of the armies were good looking though it was dissapointing that Dwarf players were allowed to play. The only negative part of the venue was the decision not to allow people to bring bottled water in and forcing them to buy water from the ladies doing the canteen.

The Future: I will continue to use the Lizardmen for at least the next few months, but may also crack my OnG out again depending on how the meta shifts. My next tournament, Runefang is in 3 weeks and  I'll be going for a top 10 finish in what will be a much more competitive field. After that I am set to play 4-5 more tournaments between now and August. Currently my ranking has shot up to #23 and that includes my awful Over The Top results. I'm happy with this as my goal at the beginning of the year was to make the top 15 and I feel I'm making good progress getting there. I still need a lot of improvement and I intend to travel to Wellington a lot more to get more games against better opponents so I can build up my confidence and experience.

Thanks for reading and look forward to seeing you at a tournament soon!


  1. I went 7-1 as well mate. I think that NATCON was a competitive field.

    1. Oops, I thought you and Mal had played to a draw, didn't mean to steal your thunder mate. Will edit that now.

      I agree it was a competitive field at the top and can't wait to play more of those tricky games.

  2. The field seperated out very early so we all ended up having a lot of hard games.

  3. Nice read Jeff. I'm not sure that your list would be any less boring to play against than Dwarves though.

    Opponent: "Right, I'll charge those Skinks"
    Jeff: "They'll flee"
    Opponent: "OK, I'll redirct into those Skinks"
    Jeff: "They'll flee too"
    Opponent: "Well then, I'll...."
    Jeff: "6 dice Purple Sun!"
    Opponent: "Dude, it's my movement phase"
    Jeff: "Sorry, just practising for my magic phase"
    Opponent: "OK, I'll charge those Terradons with this unit"
    Jeff: "They'll hold"
    Opponent: "Awesome, so I'll..."
    Jeff: But as they contract out of your charge arc, it's a failed charge"
    Opponent: "OK, so I'll charge those Chameleons"
    Jeff: "They'll flee"
    Opponent: "Is there anything I can charge?"
    Jeff "6 dice Final Transmutation.....! Sorry, did it again."

    Boom, boom, boom isn't so bad after all then.

    1. This is down to the tee what I learned on my cbt int so you can thank cbt school.

      This is pretty accurate though except contracting to stop charges was banned (fair enough).

      I don't doubt the playstyle is anymore frustrating than dwarves and a few people asked if I enjoyed the army. I certainly do as I'm a defensive player (my OnG are built around chaffing it up, shooting to death and cleaning up in the last turn or two.)

      I'm playing John tomorrow night though, so we can both be bored to death!

    2. I still find that a lot more tactically interesting then:

      Me: I push my stuff forward
      Dwarf: rolls some dice
      Me: I push whats left of my stuff forward
      Dwarf: rolls more dice
      Me: I hit combat
      One of us gets to yell "take it off" depending on above dice rolling.
      Game ends


    3. G'day Jeff,

      Fair call, play to the strengths of your army. I guess I'm just a sensitive wee flower who's tired of all the Dwarf jokes. Gimme a level 4, some chaff and a monster to go with my Dwarves, and then I'll drop some war machines. Until then, everyone can live with the fact that my magic phase consists of 3 war machines to round out the crossbows and other 2 war machines in my shooting phase.

      Also, for some reason I thought you were a gunner, yet you did the Cbt Int? Are you infantry/armd?

      Meals, maybe you're approaching if from the wrong angle. It's like unravelling any defensive position. You need to work out your avenues of approach, supporting fire/magic to suppress, weaken or kill the shooters and then saturate the shooters with targets on your approach to their position. Easy in theory, hard in practice maybe, but so's everything.

      I can tell you one thing that's tactically boring; chasing anything else in the game with M3 infantry blocks......

    4. I don't think that the dwarf jokes are at all meant to be personal. Anyone with half a brain realises that a Dwarf's only option is to castle and shoot (if Thorek is banned at least), there's just not enough flexibility in the book given the current edition/meta to allow for anything else. I would like nothing more than to see a new book come out which actually allowed Dwarves a play-style that allowed for more manoeuvre. As much as people joke, Blimps and Bear-riders would be awesome additions to the army.

      I agree it does take a bit of nouse to crack a Dwarven castle, but at the end of the day if you know what you're up to the fact that they can't move and aren't actually that great at combat or shooting means that dwarves are the fantasy version of a bunch of dug in grunts stuck with no other than to die in their pits. Sure it's not going to be much fun getting them out of there, but they will inevitably die.

      I was an RF Gunner until about a month ago but left and am now TF. Since there are no relevant TF RNZA courses to promote to CAPT I did the TF Cbt Int instead.